How much does it really cost to travel around Australia full time? How much will you need each week to have the caravanning adventure of a life time?
Families from all over Australia are asking this question – couples, singles, tribes and nomads – all dreaming and planning to hit the road for the adventure of a life time. A Caravanning adventure around our amazing country. An adventure to really SEE Australia and explore everything it has to offer!
How much $$$$ will you need? This will vary from family to family with a number of various factors that will affect your planned budget:
- Will you be working?
- Do you have commitments and ongoing bills? Insurances, mortgages, car repayments?
- Are you set up to Free Camp?
Over the years our team have spoken to many families who have embarked on their own Lap of Oz and the majority have averaged an allocation of $1000 per week – saving approx $50,000 before they hit the road.
- Are you going to SELL everything?
- Are you going to SAVE?
- Are you going to try and find work? (check out our top tips on how to make money on the road!)
Many families have also said that once the MONEY side is sorted out – the rest will fall into place and turning the DREAM into a reality becomes REAL and the excitement of this is exhilarating, scary, daunting and so much bloody FUN all rolled up! What a ride!!
We asked our Aussie Big Lappers to share with us some of their stats after travelling on the road full time…
22 Families….22 Stories….ranging from $500 – $1800 per week!! Would you like to share your stats? Pop a comment at the bottom…
Wander to Wonder Oz
Family: Leigh (36) Tegan (34) Bodhi (6) Finn (5)
Car: 2017 Isuzu MUX (with 3 tonne two capacity)
Caravan: 2017 Bailey Rangefinder Gemini. 22” 1950 TARE with 500kg payload
On the road? Just over 100 days!
Average weekly spend: between $1100-$1200 depending how many kms we do. Fuel, food and accomodation are major costs.
Saved up or Sold it all? We saved up some cash, rented our house out and used long service leave to fund the trip.
Working: Tegan is on LSL so does that count? No, not working along the way but would be open to it for further laps.
Bills at home: Yes, as we still have our house we pay rates, insurance and any related upkeep costs.
Free Camp vs Caravan: we do about 2/3 at caravan parks and 1/3 free camping/low cost.
Family Members: Ryan 31, Amy 34, Jake 8, Lucas 7, Wade 1
Car & Van/Camper: Toyota Prado 150 diesel – Australian Off Road Quantum Plus Super Camper 18ft
How long have you been on the road for? Just over 4months
Average total weekly spend: $1005/wk (includes all insurances and phone bills etc)
Saved Up or Sold everything? Sold everything
Working on the road? Not yet but setting up to work in our specialities High Voltage Electrician and Registered Nurse
Bills at home? Nope- sold that and investment property pays its own way.
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: Free Camping 90% Low cost 9% moderate to van park >1%
Family Members: Millie 34, Andrew 35, Ruby 8, Rosie & Zac 6 & Pippy 8!
Car & Van/Camper: 99 Landcruiser Troopy & 98 16ft Windsor Off Road pop top
How long have you been on the road for? 12+ months
Average total weekly spend: $1000 seems to be the average – usually under how ever it covers things like rego & insurance if we look at the big ‘annual’ picture!
Saved Up or Sold everything? Neither! Put tennants in our houses, work along the way to make money! We do have a nest egg to fall back on but haven’t had too access it yet!
Working on the road? Yes! As a midwife & boilermaker!
Bills at home? We have to put approx $50 a week to cover out rates for our rental properties!
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: Our average weekly accommodation cost for the year was just over $100! This is because we stay primarily in low cost accommodation & are lucky enough to get housing supplied with some of my work contracts! To be honest we avoid busy expensive ‘big name’ caravan parks! We find low cost national parks, farm/station stays & free camps not only better on the budget but we seem to cross paths with like minded families who love a camp fire, have filthy rat bag kids & a few good fishing stories! 30% hospital accommodation 25% caravan parks 45% low cost accommodation, free camps etc
Chaos In A Tin Can
Family Members: Aaron & Jaq, Heidy 9, Ned 4, Angus 3, Caden 1
Car & Van/Camper: Toyota Landcruiser 2011 with GVM upgrade & Leader Gold Explorer Quad Bunk
How long have you been on the road for? 12.5 months
Average total weekly spend: $1085
Saved Up or Sold everything? Sold everything, bought an investment property, Paid out all Long service leave and annual leave – left with not much savings.
Working on the road? Not in the first year – about to stop for work
Bills at home?
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 40% Cheap/National Parks, 40% Free, 20% Caravan ParksHave you seen our Aussie made Travel Journals? Click here!
Little Van Crew
Family: Greg (32), Lauren (31), Blakely (4) & Hudson (15 months)
Car & Caravan: We tow our 22ft Supreme Classic bunk van with a Toyota Landcruiser
How long have you been on the road?: Only 5.5 weeks! But we’ve been living in our van for almost 3 months!
Average weekly spend? we aim for approx $1000 or less including our phones, WiFi, insurances etc!
Saved up or SOLD? Working? We saved up and sold our house! We initially planned to do a 4-6 month trip but our plans evolved to indefinite travel so we took the plunge and sold our house. We culled and decluttered ALOT but what we did keep is stored in a storage container.
Working? Yes, Lauren is a doTERRA wellness advocate & Greg plans to do some work most likely just after Christmas to top up and wait out the wet season before continuing our lap!
Bills at home? NONE!
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: we’ve done a bit of both but approximately 30% free/low cost – 70% Caravan parks!
You can follow Greg & Lauren’s adventures here: Socials: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM – ALSO, check out their Travelling Families Book Exchange stickers – such a brilliant concept that we are proud supporters of!
Kids Travelling Australia
Family: James (36), Clarinda (36), Eden (4), Aston (2)
Car & Caravan: Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 3L Diesel/ Avan Aspire 617 semi off-road double bunk – 27ft total length
How long have you been on the road?: On the road for 1 year and 2 weeks so far.
Average weekly spend? Around $1100 this includes all expenses not just travel related
Saved up or SOLD? Working? We saved up for 6 months then sold our house and just about everything we own apart from sentimental items.
Working? Working a little on the road when the opportunity arises.
Bills at home? We have no ongoing bills or commitment. We are officially looking for a new place to call home when we hit the east coast!
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: We would think about 20% free camps, 30% low cost camps or national parks and 50% caravan parks – the latter stages of WA and Darwin certainly added to the caravan park tally!
Trip In A Van
Family Members: Bec 33, Justin 35, Jack 6, Billy 4, Charli 3
Car & Van/Camper: Mazda BT50 and Jurgens Narooma for first 2 years, now a Jurgens Solaris 22ft
How long have you been on the road for? 2.5yrs
Average total weekly spend: First year approx $1000 per week
Saved Up or Sold everything? Both
Working on the road? We did not work during our first lap – we now both work as full time Travel writers & content creators
Bills at home? None!
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 1st year – 80% caravan park, 20% free camp
08 Feet Travelling Australia
Family Members: Duncan 35 Ebonny 30, Finn 5 & Pippa 4
Car & Van/Camper: 2017 Toyota 79 Landcruiser and 2017 Kokoda Force V Xtrail
How long have you been on the road for? 9 months
Average total weekly spend: Approx $750.00 per week
Saved Up or Sold everything? Saved for a year, still own our house which is now rented out.
Working on the road? YES, short periods at a time
Bills at home? Yes – health insurance, house insurance, rates etc
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: Free camp 57% Low cost 34%, Caravan Parks 6%
The Blonde Nomads
Family Members: Rob, Tracy, Marli 5 & Ziggy 3
Car/camper: Ford Ranger – Jayco Starcraft Outback
Time on the road?: 9 months
Average weekly spend: We don’t really track it – however food and fuel are our biggest expenses.
Saved up or sold up? SOLD UP
Bills at home? Only rego & insurances etc Free Camp vs Caravan Parks: Free Camps/National Parks 70% – Caravan Parks 30%
Ten Itchy Feet – Travelling Australia
Family members: Rhys 44, Lyndall 38, Carter 9, Heath 7, Chelsea 4
Car: 2017 Nissan Patrol Y62
Van: Leader Explorer 22.5ft family van
Average weekly Spend? $1400 per week this includes absolutely everything, car repayment, insurance, home bills etc
Saved or SOLD everything? Saved up! If you include blogging which definitely feels like working now then yes. And we have flown back to work a few times but the aim was to not work and we have mainly used our savings but the blogging now is helping heaps
Bills at home?: Plenty
Free Camp vs Caravan parks: This really depends on the state but I’d say it evens out to 25% low cost or free and 75% caravan parks.
You can follow Rhys & Lyndall’s adventures here: Socials: FACEBOOK
The Great Escape – Australia
Family Members: Nathan, Renee & Ryan (4)
Car/camper: started with a 2010 Mitsubishi Triton & a 2015 Cub Campers Escape. Now have a 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero & a 2017 Cub Campers Escape (first camper written off in an accident)
Time on the road?: On the road for 2 and a half years so far
Average weekly spend: approx $900 for EVERYTHING. All bills, all expenses.
Saved up or sold up? Neither. House is rented out and we work as we go to pay for it.
Work: Yes – Renee is a Registered Nurse who picks up short term rural and remote contracts
Bills at home? Only related to the house all of which is covered by our rent Free Camp vs Caravan Parks: Free nights 60% (including nights in staff accommodation, house sitting, working in exchange for accom & staying with family/friends Caravan Parks: 25% Other options like national parks, and the occasional hotel: 15%
Search For Home 2018
Family Members: Serenity 43, Ross 45, Niah 10, Sarchi 9
Car/camper: Jayco Outback Twin Bunk – Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Time on the road?: 5 Months
Average weekly spend: approx $800 per week
Saved up or sold up? Sold home to travel and find a new town to relocate to.
Work: Serenity is working part time.
Bills at home? No Free Camp vs Caravan Parks: Free nights 40%, Low Cost 20%, 40% Caravan parks
You can follow Ross & Serenity’s adventures here: INSTAGRAM
My Rig Adventures
Family Members: Allan (34), Emma (33), Dominic (10), Indii (8)
Car & Van/Camper: 4.8L Nissan Patrol (2005) + 23ft Jayco Starcraft Outback (double bunk van, 2015).
How long have you been on the road for? 3.5 months
Average total weekly spend: $850/ wk (including all servicing, Insurances etc.) OR $600/ wk (excluding maintenance & bills).
Saved Up or Sold everything? We sold up house and all stuff (no investment properties, nothing in storage). Didn’t leave with very much savings.
Working on the road? YES – we work along the way.
Bills at home? No bills at home.
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 95% Free Camp / 5% Low Cost & Caravan Park.
The Wood Trippers
Family Members: Kobie 40, Ryan 43, Taj 11, Jonah 5
Car & Van/Camper: Jeep Grand Cherokee – Jayco Starcraft
How long have you been on the road for? 4 months
Average total weekly spend: $650.00 per week
Saved Up or Sold everything? Neither – on paid leave and renting our house.
Working on the road? If the opportunity pops up.
Bills at home? Mortgage, insurances.
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 25% free/low cost – 75% Caravan Parks – hoping to do more free camping in WA.
Tribe of Five
Family: Christian, 28 Kirsty, 28 Ivy, 6 Haddie, 4 Bodhi, 1
Car & Caravan: New Age Manta Ray 22ft Bunk Ensuite with a Mazda BT50
How long have you been on the road?: 7 months
Average weekly spend? Approx $1000 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? SOLD everything!
Working? Yes we will start in a couple of weeks in Darwin
Bills at home? Only our phone bills!
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 60% caravan parks, 20% low cost, 20% free camps
Van Life Around Australia
Family: Dave 37, Lorelei 35, Shayla 11 & Taj 6
Car & Caravan: 2010 Toyota Prado and 2016 Jayco Expanda Outback
How long have you been on the road?: 1 YEAR!
Average weekly spend? Approx $1800 per week – we still love a pub meal and have travelled over 50,000 kms in 12 months so the fuel expense is quite high.
Saved up or SOLD? Working? SOLD everything! Well, mostly everything, we have a double garage of belongings in Perth.
Working? Nope – we chose to sell our home so we could spend 12 months travelling and being with our children, rather than working.
Bills at home? No home = no bills – just phone, insurances etc
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 20% caravan parks – 80% free camps – We love free camping, however we also love being where the attractions are, so along the East coast we struggled to find many free camps. All of our paid camping is included under caravan parks, this includes National Parks, Farm stays, showgrounds and cheap pubs.
12 In A Tent
Family: Rikki 43, Lauren 38, Ruby 11 & Bonnie 4
Car & Caravan: TENT! Blackwolf Turbo 300 Plus
How long have you been on the road?: 8 Months
Average weekly spend? Approx $1200 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? Saved Up & Redundancy payout – house is rented out.
Bills at home? $25 per week towards mortgage
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 30% caravan parks – 70% free camps
Four Hands in a Tin Can
Family: Pete 48, Annie 44, Liam 14 & Mia 10, Diga Dog 3
Car & Caravan: Toyota LC200 – Elite (self designed) 24.5 ft internal
How long have you been on the road?: 2 years and 7 months
Average weekly spend? Av. $750 – $900 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? Sold all furniture, kept enough to furnish a 2 bedroom unit – added to property portfolio
Working? Not yet – although if the right job came along…then we would.
Bills at home? Everything covered by rent.
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 20% caravan parks – 50% free camps – 30% Low cost
Family: Tim, Amanda, Seth 7, Mia 6
Car & Caravan: Ford Ranger – 25ft Nova Family Revivor
How long have you been on the road?: 7 Months
Average weekly spend? Approx $1000 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? Saved Up
Bills at home? Rates, phone, water etc
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 30% caravan parks – 70% free camps
Rhythm of our Tribe
Family: Glenn, Kelly, Finley 12, Marlow 7, Harper 6 & Sunnie 3
Car & Caravan: Landrover Defender and an Airstream 22ft
How long have you been on the road?: 6 Months
Average weekly spend? Approx $980 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? SOLD our house…
Bills at home? Insurance & rego
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 20% caravan parks – 80% free camps
Zahlis Big Lap
Family: Micha, Ebony, Maddyn 3 & Emery 1.5
Car & Caravan: Mitsubishi Pajero 2009 – Jayco Expanda 2011
How long have you been on the road?: 5 Months – planning for 12 – 15 months
Average weekly spend? Budget $750 per week – averaging $800
Saved up or SOLD? Working? SOLD EVERYTHING
Bills at home? No
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: 50% caravan parks – 20% free camps – 30% Low cost/NP
Aussie Adventures with Mum
Family: Trudy 31 – Single Mum – Leo 8, Thayne 6 and River 3
Car & Caravan: 2001 Mitsubishi Pajero – Renovated 1975 14ft Viscount Royal
How long have you been on the road?: 9 Months
Average weekly spend? Approx $500 per week
Saved up or SOLD? Working? SOLD EVERYTHING!
Working? Not yet – looking at launching an online business soon.
Bills at home? None – phone & rego
Free Camping vs Caravan Parks: We mostly stay at free or low cost sites with the occasional showgrounds being a great affordable alternative to caravan parks when looking for amenities such as a laundry, power, showers etc.
You can follow Trudy’s adventures here: FACEBOOK
THANK YOU to each of these inspiring families for reaching out via our call out on INSTAGRAM and sharing their STATS with our community!
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